AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Semi-Final
Courtesy of GAA.ie
STEELSTOWN BRIAN ÓGS 2-6
NA GAEIL 0-7
The Connacht Centre of Excellence has hosted a huge number of club, county, school and college games in recent weeks and today it was the turn of Steelstown Brian Ógs and Na Gaeil to travel to the east Mayo venue, where a strong wind favoured the Kerry champions in the first half.
It was Na Gaeil’s failure to take full advantage of that breeze that cost them, as they went in at half time trailing by 1-3 to 0-3, with all of Steelstown’s scores coming from the boot of Ben McCarron. Jack Barry and Andrew Barry kicked wonderful points for Na Gaeil, but a wide count of 8-0 illustrates how the scoreboard at the break didn’t reflect either possession stats, or the rate at which the two sides created chances.
Na Gaeil started the second half strongly with two points in the first seven minutes, but Brian Ógs replied in kind and what followed was a tense and hard-fought closing twenty minutes, where scores were rare and there was bad news for both Na Gaeil and new Kerry manager Jack O’Connor, when Stefan Okunbar was withdrawn due to what looked like a serious injury.
A penalty in stoppage time form Cahir McMonagle made sure of the win for the Derry city club, whose win will be a further boost for football in the Oak Leaf county, which is already on a steep upward trajectory.